Photo by Jeff Bell – UltiPhotos.com
The Vancouver Nighthawks find themselves ranked as the number five team in the MLU Power Rankings this week following a loss to the Dogfish in San Francisco. In a recurring theme for the squad this year, the Nighthawks struggled to find a rhythm away from Thunderbird Stadium, dropping the game 13-12 in overtime.
“I think most players would rather not play in windy conditions like we experienced in Seattle and San Francisco, but it was certainly not the reason, or excuse, for the losses,” says O-Line cutter Jordan Tessarolo. “Both teams have to deal with the elements. It’s an equal playing field out there and I don’t think Seattle or San Fran handled it noticeably better than we did. We lost focus and got away from playing our systems at times. We also missed a few key opportunities that would have been big momentum swings in our favour.”
Perhaps because he feels they deserve it, Tessarolo isn’t bothered in the least by sitting in the No. 5 spot.
“I honestly have not looked at the rankings, but I suppose that seems reasonable considering we are 2-3.”
“More importantly, half the season remains and we are still in a position to determine our fate. We are certainly hungry for more wins. One thing this team has proved is our willingness to battle. Not once have we let up despite being down on the scoreboard. There are not going to be any easy wins on the West Coast so grinding it out until the end is exactly what it is going to take to make the playoffs.”
The Nighthawks have struggled to find consistency this year playing away from home, as evidenced by road losses to Portland, Seattle and San Francisco, but the team hopes to get back on track this weekend by putting up another strong performance in the comfortable confines of Thunderbird Stadium, also known as The Nest.
“Every win is so critical in this league, so both teams will be hungry for a win after coming off losses,” says Tessarolo. “Last week’s results are in the past and this is a new game. We know what we need to do; it’s a matter of execution. We need to run our systems and have strong individual efforts through the entire four quarters. As long as we are all on the same page, I am confident we can come away with a win.”
You can buy tickets for this game against the Portland Stags, which will be played at the University of British Columbia’s Thunderbird Stadium on Saturday, May 24 at 7 p.m.